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posted: 9/20/2011 5:00 AM

Tariffs would limit pollution

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That Hultgren and the House Republicans have decided businesses must be allowed to pollute in order to "create" jobs simply proves that they are not competent to govern.

Despite what their right-wing ideology states, one of the most fundamental rights is the right to an environment free from human caused pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel use.

There is no valid reason to allow people to pollute except that the Republicans don't value people's health, quality of life and stability of the earth's systems because they value only money.

The only responsible action would be to implement a tariff on imports to ensure that their cost accounts for the cost of responsible pollution control.

For example, as China has a free market environmental regulatory scheme any cost borne by American businesses due to proper environmental regulation can be added to Chinese imports. Not only would this equalize costs between manufacturers in the U.S. and the world to account for the cost of complying with proper environmental regulation, but it would provide an impetus for other nations to improve their environmental regulation and reduce their negative impact.

The environment belongs to no one. The government's primary job is to protect the American people from irresponsible behavior, which includes reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions for the benefit of all. Implementing tariffs to create a level playing field is the only responsible action, if job creation is a concern. If tariffs are an issue, then trade agreements are the problem.

Jeffery Biss


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